Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Welcome December!

We are officially into the holiday season.  With all of the festivities (and stress) the holidays brings, it can be extra challenging to maintain focus on weight loss.  Most people don’t choose to start a weight loss plan in December either.  In fact, lots of people just give up and figure they’ll start over again in January.

If that sounds like you, then here’s a suggestion.  How about thinking of it this way… how can you avoid GAINING weight this month?  Even if you don’t lose any weight in December, you can do yourself a big favor by just not gaining any more.

There are two main things to focus on if you want to avoid holiday weight gain.  If you can follow these, you’re doing great!

1. Schedule your exercise.  Take a look at your December calendar.  It’s probably packed already.  But still, you can definitely find some time to fit in exercise each week.  Schedule your workouts now.  Write them down and commit.  Give exercise time a priority just like you would any other important event.  Remember, you don’t have to dedicate an hour to your workouts, and it’s not all-or-nothing.  Any exercise is better than none at all.  Try to find at least 20-30 minutes for a workout 3-4 times per week, and get it on the calendar!

2. Save your indulgences.  Just because there are tons of goodies in the office or boxes of holiday candies at the grocery store all month long doesn’t mean you have to indulge every day.  You may have more than one holiday party or special event on your calendar.  Think about the things you like to eat during those special events and allow yourself to enjoy them.  But outside of those events, continue to watch your calorie intake.  When you “budget” your holiday indulgences you’re more likely to look forward to them, really savor them and avoid all of the extra calories that really weren’t worth it.  (This includes alcohol!)

Bottom Line:  Don’t give up on December.  Whatever you do, don’t write off December and just figure you’ll start over in January.  Stick to a reasonable diet and allow yourself to enjoy the season’s favorites in moderation.  Schedule in exercise sessions by making them just as important a priority as shopping, meal preparation and decorating.  A lot of damage can be done in one month by allowing yourself to lose all willpower.  If you can avoid gaining five pounds this month, you’ll definitely be a way ahead of most people in 2014!

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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